The woman nicknamed “Queen Bea” didn’t seem worthy of her throne for much of Sunday afternoon.
Beatrice Mompremier, the Miami Hurricanes’ first preseason first-team All-American since Shenise Johnson in 2011, had just two points at halftime. She had four points through three quarters, shooting 1-for-7 from the floor against a Jackson State team that had lost its opener to Tulane by 36.
But Mompremier, a 6-4 senior post who is projected to be among the first five players selected in next year’s WNBA Draft, scored 12 points in the fourth quarter as her 18th-ranked Canes opened their 47th season of basketball with an 83-68 win over Jackson State.
“For the first time, I just chewed her out,” Miami coach said Katie Meier when asked what she tried to get Mompremier out of her early funk.
“I didn’t know what else to do. She was playing careful.
“So I said, ‘Let me see if this lion can roar at her,’ and she responded because she’s tough.”
Meier said the Jackson State bench “exploded” every time one of their many double teams on Mompremier resulted in a miss or a turnover.
“She’s going to get so much attention,” Meier said.
Mompremier, a former Miami High star, was asked after Sunday’s game about her honors – such as preseason ACC Player of the Year – possibly inflating her head.
“I don’t think the accolades really matter,” she said. “I just had to calm down and get out of my head.”
Mompremier surely cleared her head in that fourth quarter. She made 5-of-6 shots, including a three-pointer from the right elbow, showing her range.
Her final numbers include 6-of-13 from the floor, 3-for-5 from the foul line, 11 rebounds, four turnovers and one assist.
Miami has now won 27 consecutive home season openers, but the schedule will soon get much tougher.
The Canes are expected to play three top-25 teams in the next month: DePaul in Chicago and Oregon State and Indiana at home.
Miami’s ACC schedule will include No. 9 Louisville, No. 12 Florida State, No. 14 North Carolina State, No. 16 Notre Dame and No 21 Syracuse.
In other words, Miami will have to play much better than it did on Sunday, and Meier promised that the Canes will do more. She was especially upset that Jackson State’s 6-4 center Ameshya Williams had 14 points and 11 rebounds against Miami.
“Our effort wasn’t anywhere near what it will be the next time you see us play,” Meier said. “We’re going to play a lot harder, and we’re not going to give up a double-double to anyone in our gym again.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Guard Kelsey Marshall led Miami with 18 points, making 4-of-7 on three-pointers.
Endia Banks had 11 points and led Miami in assists (six) and steals (three). Mykea Gray had 12 points and made 3-of-5 on three-pointers.
▪ Miami played all five of its freshmen, including 6-3 post Sydnee Roby, who had eight points, two rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes.
“The freshmen have until Dec. 1, and then they are graduated,” Meier said. “Then they are sophomores.”
▪ Miami’s Jamir Huston, a 6-0 sophomore forward, made her first career start and had six points and five rebounds in nine minutes.